View Full Version : Obama and the law:Thomas Sowell

10-29-2008, 07:07 AM



by Thomas Sowell
Tuesday, October 28, 2008

One of the biggest and most long-lasting "change" to expect if Barack Obama becomes President of the United States is in the kinds of federal judges he appoints. These include Supreme Court justices, as well as other federal justices all across the country, all of whom will have lifetime tenure.

Senator Obama has stated very clearly what kinds of Supreme Court justices he wants-- those with "the empathy to understand what it's like to be poor, or African-American, or gay, or disabled, or old."

Like so many things that Obama says, it may sound nice if you don't stop and think-- and chilling if you do stop and think. Do we really want judges who decide cases based on who you are, rather than on the facts and the law?

If the case involves a white man versus a black woman, should the judge decide that case differently than if both litigants are of the same race or sex?

The kind of criteria that Barack Obama promotes could have gotten three young men at Duke University sent to prison for a crime that neither they nor anybody else committed.

Didn't we spend decades in America, and centuries in Western civilization, trying to get away from the idea that who you are determines what your legal rights are?

What kind of judges are we talking about?

A classic example is federal Judge H. Lee Sarokin, who could have bankrupted a small New Jersey town because they decided to stop putting up with belligerent homeless men who kept disrupting their local public library. Judge Sarokin's rulings threatened the town with heavy damage awards, and the town settled the case by paying $150,000 to the leading disrupter of its public library.

After Bill Clinton became president, he elevated Judge Sarokin from the district court to the Circuit Court of Appeals. Would President Barack Obama elevate him-- or others like him-- to the Supreme Court? Judge Sarokin certainly fits Obama's job description for a Supreme Court justice.

A court case should not depend on who you are and who the judge is. We are supposed to be a country with "the rule of law and not of men." Like all human beings, Americans haven't always lived up to our ideals. But Obama is proposing the explicit repudiation of that ideal itself.

That is certainly "change," but is it one that most Americans believe in? Or is it something that we may end up with anyway, just because too many voters cannot be bothered to look beyond rhetoric and style?

We can vote a president out of office at the next election if we don't like him. But we can never vote out the federal judges he appoints in courts across the country, including justices of the Supreme Court.

The kind of judges that Barack Obama wants to appoint can still be siding with criminals or terrorists during the lifetime of your children and grandchildren.

The Constitution of the United States will not mean much if judges carry out Obama's vision of the Constitution as "a living document"-- that is, something that judges should feel free to change by "interpretation" to favor particular individuals, groups or causes.

We have already seen where that leads with the 2005 Kelo Supreme Court decision that allows local politicians to take people's homes or businesses and transfer that property to others. Almost invariably, these are the homes of working class people and small neighborhood businesses that are confiscated under the government's power of eminent domain. And almost invariably they are transferred to developers who will build shopping malls, hotels or other businesses that will bring in more tax revenue.

The Constitution protected private property, precisely in order to prevent such abuses of political power, leaving a small exception when property is taken for "public use," such as the government's building a reservoir or a highway.

But just by expanding "public use" to mean "public purpose"-- which can be anything-- the Supreme Court opened the floodgates.

That's not "a living Constitution." That's a dying Constitution-- and an Obama presidency can kill it off.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Obama: Fundamental Change? Count on It

avid Limbaugh

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

I am sincerely worried that if Obama wins, the checks and balances incorporated into our Constitution may not be enough to prevent a radical and irreversible diminution of our individual liberties because a confluence of factors has emerged to create a climate conducive to fundamental change.

These factors are: a shockingly unknown candidate, whose mysterious past and numerous shady alliances are deliberately left unexplored by a corrupt, supportive media; the candidate's charismatic qualities that inspire a cultish loyalty; his intellectual trappings that create a fascination and allure among the intellectual elite, including some hypnotized conservatives; a major financial crisis that exacerbates the people's fears and uncertainties; a largely manufactured cloud of negativity placed over America by the media and a grossly partisan Democratic Party that places its self-interest above the national interest; and an apparently discredited Republican Party and conservative movement that have been blamed for our actual and perceived problems.

All of these could lead to entrusting this man with unprecedented power, giving him a license to operate with minimum scrutiny and an opposition party effectively impotent to oppose his radical blueprint for America.

More than ever, perception is trumping reality. An unprincipled Democratic Party, aided by a morally decadent media, has demonized President Bush, the Republican Party and America itself with distortions and polarizing propaganda designed to dispirit and divide Americans on the bases of race, class and gender. Just look at the domestic and foreign policy picture they have painted the past eight years.

While we are having serious financial problems now, we had a strong economy for most of President Bush's two terms, but the media pushed the Democrats' critique that it was in perpetual recession. As for our real financial crisis, objective observers understand Democratic programs and policies primarily caused it, but Democrats have successfully blamed Republicans for it.

Similarly, despite our problems in Iraq, we are clearly winning there now, but the media are suppressing the good news, just as they have refused to credit Republicans for their wisdom on the surge and protected Democrats from their reckless opposition to it.

The only arrow left in the Democrats' Iraq quiver is to perpetuate their "big lie" that Bush led us into war with lies about WMD. Through stunning and numbing repetition broadcast by a conspiratorial media, they have succeeded in making this the majority narrative, even though anyone who lived through this period knows Democrats supported this policy as long as it was politically expedient, having had access to the exact same intelligence

They've also convinced people, contrary to the facts, that Saddam Hussein didn't have ties to and wasn't abetting our terrorist enemies. And they've completely ignored the many other compelling reasons justifying our bipartisan decision to attack Iraq, including Saddam's persistent and ongoing violations of some 17 U.N. and postwar resolutions and treaties.

Democrats and the media, instead of condemning recalcitrant European nations for not joining the coalition against Iraq despite endless diplomatic overtures by President Bush, falsely indicted the Bush administration for its "unilateral" action against Iraq.

They colluded to publish the slander that the Bush administration sponsored abuses at Abu Ghraib, created inhumane conditions at Gitmo, and routinely tortured enemy prisoners. Democratic presidential candidates Al Gore, John Kerry and Barack Obama have all blithely and falsely accused our troops of atrocities, from systematic torture and prisoner abuse to raping Iraqi civilians to air raiding Afghan villages. They have mischaracterized our essential National Security Agency monitoring of international terrorist communications as domestic spying on little old ladies.

They have portrayed the Bush administration's phenomenal accomplishment of preventing further attacks on our soil since 9/11 not as an administration success but as proof that we no longer face a serious threat.

All of these factors could coalesce to give Obama a mandate to fundamentally move our economy toward socialism in the name of economic fairness and emasculate our war on terrorists in the name of restoring our international image.

Would Obama win if people believed he might well nationalize health care, unilaterally disarm our nuclear weapons, push the Global Poverty Act, appoint judges to the left of Ruth Bader Ginsberg, pass legislation banning handguns, greatly increase federal spending by euphemistically disguising it as a stimulus package, increase taxes on producers and expand "redistribution," impose limitations on private executive salaries, empower labor unions, further nationalize public education with the leftist indoctrination agenda of the National Education Association, further open our borders, ratify the Kyoto climate change treaty, abandon Israel, retreat and surrender in Iraq, dramatically reduce the defense budget, possibly reinstate the draft in the name of racial equity, nationalize our private 401(k) funds, abuse governmental power to target and investigate dissent from ordinary "Joes," and implement the Fairness Doctrine to shut down political dissent from his talk radio critics?

10-29-2008, 11:15 AM
Sowell expresses it so well. Hits the nail on the head. Why isn't he running for something instead of Barry?